Documentary to premiere June 30.
Beatriz da Costa/Gazette Packet
Monday, June 26, 2017
Veterans are often portrayed in the media as PTSD-stricken and unstable members of society. It’s a narrative that many, especially in the military community, deem as offensive. It’s a narrative that Jack Mandaville, Nick Palmisciano, and Rocco Vargas want to change.
Veterans Mandaville and Vargas first joined together with director Nick Palmisciano to create the film “Range 15.” The film was made for the military community and, consists of “inside jokes and jargon, and perhaps a resounding reclamation of Hollywood portrayal of military life and community.”
“Range 15” shot to No. 1 on Amazon and No. 2 on iTunes. Inspired by the response to the first film, Mandaville, Palmisciano and Vargas, with the help of director Tim O’Donnell went on to create, “Not a War Story,” a documentary set to premiere June 30, about the military community, and the creation of “Range 15.”
“This is a story that has never been told.” Mandaville said about the documentary. “There are two typical narratives about modern military veterans going into any project. They’re either PTSD-ridden simpletons, or war heroes that can do no wrong.” Mandaville said. “The fact is, veterans are simply a reflection of society who, like everybody else, are capable of breaking the mold.”
“Not a War Story” demonstrates the challenge of the veterans to raise $1.5 million for “Range 15.” Although the film was originally supposed to be a short about “the five main guys and their crazy director,” according to Palmisciano, by the time they got to the third cut of the movie they realized they were narrating the stories about the veteran community.
Mandaville, a Minnesota native who moved to Alexandria last month, joined the Marine Corps to escape his suburban lifestyle. He was deployed at age 19 to Thailand, however was soon sent to the Middle East for training, after 9/11. Generally, regardless of where they served and how long, people usually believe all veterans put in the same amount of work, and deserve to be respected because of such. However, Mandaville does not necessarily feel the same.
“I could tell a few little war stories from my time as a Marine,” he said. “But the fact is this movie has Navy Cross, Silver Star, and Medal of Honor recipients in it. My stories pale in comparison to theirs.”
The inclusion of veterans, like himself, was important to Mandaville in filming. Why? “Mainly because vets get stuff done.”